Saudi Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Has Died

Fox News is reporting today that Saudi Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died. Crown Prince Nayef was in his late 70’s. He was responsible for Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks on America. He was the successor to the throne of Saudi Arabia.

The article reports:

Nayef’s death unexpectedly reopens the question of succession in this crucial U.S. ally and oil powerhouse for the second time in less than a year. The 88-year-old King Abdullah has now outlived two designated successors, despite ailments of his own. Now a new crown prince must be chosen from among his brothers and half-brothers, all the sons of Saudi Arabia’s founder, Abdul-Aziz. 

The figure believed most likely to be tapped as the new heir is Prince Salman, the current defense minister who previously served for decades in the powerful post of governor of Riyadh, the capital. The crown prince will be chosen by the Allegiance Council, an assembly of Abdul-Aziz’s sons and some of his grandchildren. 

As much as there are serious questions about some of the links between Saudi Arabia and radical Islam,the Saudis have traditionally been the ones who have been the voice of sanity in keeping the price of oil under control. The Saudi royal family is also on the radar of the Muslim Brotherhood as a target for the Arab Spring. The death of Crown Prince Nayef will have an impact on the balance of power in OPEC and in the Middle East.

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Saudi Arabia Has Closed Its Embassy In Cairo

Yesterday’s Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia has closed its embassy in Cairo after protests by Egyptian activists at the embassy. The protesters are protesting the arrest of Ahmed al-Gizawy, who was arrested when he arrived in Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. The Saudis have accused Mr. al-Gizawy of smuggling Xanax (which is an illegal substance in Saudi Arabia) into the country.

The article further reports that the protesters believe that Mr. al-Gizawy is being held because of a court case he brought in Cairo over the illegal detention of Egyptians in Saudi Arabia. The Egyptians have been held without trial. Mr. al-Gizawy had been tried and sentenced in absentia in a Saudi court, but was not told that in advance of his trip.

Before the fall of Mubarak, the government of Egypt would not have allowed protests against the Saudis. One reason I find this interesting is that I believe that the rulers of Saudi Arabia are the next target of the Muslim Brotherhood in the ‘Arab Spring.’ They are the major non-democracy still standing in the Middle East. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia practices Sharia Law, it is under the control of the Saudi royal family–not the Muslim Brotherhood.

Make no mistake, the Muslim Brotherhood supports a world-wide caliphate–but only one which they control.

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